The Washington Post reports:
Irish voters resoundingly rejected a treaty designed to modernize the European Union, the second time in three years that European voters have shot down a complex proposal to create more authority and world influence at the bloc's Brussels headquarters.
By defeating the Lisbon Treaty 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent in a national referendum Thursday, fewer than a million Irish voters scuttled a document that would have deeply affected the lives of nearly 500 million Europeans in the 27 member nations.
Justice Minister Brian Lenihan said the results announced Friday marked "a very sad day for the country and for Europe." Prime Minister Brian Cowen said the vote "does bring about considerable uncertainty and a difficult situation," adding: "There is no quick fix."
But jubilant opponents of the treaty called it a David-and-Goliath victory for common people, skeptical of the E.U.'s increasing influence on their lives, over an enthusiastically pro-Brussels European political establishment.
"It is a great day for Irish democracy," said Declan Ganley, a businessman who led the anti-treaty campaign. "This is democracy in action . . . and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people."
Hibernia Girl has more on the election results.
Mary Crody wrote in The Independent of Ireland:
Raymond Crotty's daughter Mary, and her sister Ann, who has returned from South Africa where she works as a journalist to campaign for a 'No' Vote, explained the pivotal action which their father took and which could now impact on the shape and direction Europe takes in the future.
"The French and Dutch, who were given an opportunity to vote on the European Constitution, voted against it. They are not being given an opportunity to vote on the Lisbon Treaty," she said.
"We are being afforded this right, not because our government has secured it for us, but because our father, Raymond Crotty, took the Irish government to court back in 1986.
"The Supreme Court ruled in that case that in the event of any major change within the EU that impacted upon Ireland's constitution, the government would be obliged to get approval for that change from the Irish people.
"The implications of the current treaty are so wide-ranging that lawyers who worked on our dad's case believe that, if it is implemented, it will be our last EU-related referendum."
Crotty, a farmer turned economist who died in 1994, is the creator of the lactose tolerance-centric theory of the history of everything that I mentioned back in May. Here are comments on it from an anthropologist and from Razib of GNXP, who read Crotty's little-known posthumously-published book, When Histories Collide. (About 50 pages can be read via Google Books here.)